Melbourne - Australian bowling great Shane Warne has apologised for the foul-mouthed Twenty20 confrontation that earned him a ban and a fine, and said he hoped he had not tarnished his legacy in the sport.
Warne admitted he had gone too far in his on-field row with West Indian batsman Marlon Samuels in Australia's Big Bash League but defended his right to show “emotion and passion”.
“I'm very passionate when I play the game. I overstepped the line and hence I'm missing a game,” Warne, 43, said.
“I thought it was a pretty harsh penalty but I was more disappointed in my own actions, especially as a captain.
“It was emotion and passion. We sometimes like to see that in sportsmen and not robots.
“I apologise to the fans and I apologise to everyone. Sitting and doing detention, it's not easy to watch the boys.”
Melbourne Stars captain Warne, furious after Samuels impeded batsman David Hussey, later confronted the West Indian with an obscenity and in the following over, hurled the ball at his chest.
Samuels, playing for city rivals the Melbourne Renegades, reacted by tossing his bat towards Australia's record Test wicket-taker and the two squared up before being separated by the umpires.
Warne was banned for one match and fined $4,500 (R40 000) over the row. But he expressed hope that “one little incident” wouldn't besmirch his reputation among cricket fans.
“I'd like to think of the 25 years I've been playing first-class cricket rather than just one game,” he said.
“I'd like to think there's a lot of positive and good things I've done for Australian cricket and all that sort of stuff over the years.
“One little incident here or there doesn't matter. I do apologise for my behaviour and I'm disappointed in my own reaction.”
Warne claimed 708 Test wickets in a celebrated career but he has also courted controversy, notably when he was fined for accepting money from a bookmaker and when he was sent home from the 2003 World Cup for taking a banned diuretic.
The colourful Warne's woes continued on Tuesday when a Scottish court fined him £500 (R7000) in absentia for driving at more than 160km/h on a road with a 110km/h limit.
Samuels has been replaced in the Renegades team by England batsman Alex Hales after he top-edged a Lasith Malinga delivery into his face during Sunday's eventful game, suffering a suspected fracture of the eye socket. - AFP